Jazz – Nice!
Jazz – Nice!
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, 1 comment



The wonderful BBC sketch show, The Fast Show, brought to the small screen many memorable characters. My particular favourite was Louis Balfour, the presenter of late-night TV’s Jazz Club, played by John Thompson. He had one of the best haircuts with a sartorial style to match; and mein host was a parody pastiche on the BBC’s ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris of the Old Grey Whistle Test, and artsy late night music show Later with Jools Holland.


“Jazz is a constantly progressing, constantly evolving, musical art form,” Louis once informed us. “Ragtime. Dixieland. Swing. Bebop. Cool jazz. Fusion. Murder. Third string. Acid dinner jazz. And, of course, Acker Bilk…” This was a man whose mission was to bring you all that’s best in the world of jazz, as he introduces terrible jazz musicians in a terribly sycophantic way. Every obscure and bizarrely named jazz combo who join him in the studio was greeted with Louis’ particular brand of cool reverence; his highest accolade being an aside to the camera – ‘Nice!’ or ‘Grrrreat’.


It’s because of this that, when I get asked to go around the corner to that great Pacific Northwest jazz institute, Dimitriu’s Jazz Alley, or indeed I spot a jazz section in a vinyl record shop (such as this one in Georgetown), I invariable say ‘Jazz – Nice!’ All of which is sadly lost on our American cousins, who look at me with even more puzzlement than they usual do.  Louis Balfour has a lot to answer for. 


Leica M3 & 40mm Summicron-C

B+W Yellow Filter

Sekonic L-308S

Ilford FP4+ (@100)

Perceptol (Stock – 12min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan




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